This article discusses "trash," a commonly used term for popular culture in Quiz Bowl. For information regarding Testing Recall About Strange Happenings, the organization also known as TRASH, see TRASH.
Trash is the common name for popular culture (sports, movies, TV, video games, non-classical music, comic books, etc) in quizbowl. Though probably a derogatory term when it was first coined, it has been embraced by the most vocal supports of popular culture content in quizbowl, and the term no longer contains any value judgment.
Trash tournaments are tournaments involving questions exclusively on trash. Common pop culture subjects in these tournaments include movies, music, television, sports, videogames, and the 1980s. These tournaments should not be confused with TRASH, the organization that produces the trash tournaments TRASH Regionals and TRASHionals. Since 2010, CULT has also been proclaimed as a national trash tournament.
Matt Weiner once referred to the trash circuit as a "cancerous growth" that has a "chilling effect" on academic tournaments because of the way that teams often become entirely devoted to trash to the exclusion of playing academic tournaments.  This tendency can be seen in the fact that clubs like Villanova and Boston College now play exclusively in trash tournaments. In the past, "trash capture" affected Penn State and Georgia as well, until the Penn State club just dissolved entirely, and Georgia turned its fortunes around to become one of the most active academic clubs anywhere as of 2007.